Nobody who visits Potocari can fail to be moved by what you see there. For me, it brought back memories of how, as a new MP back in the 1990s, I was one of those calling for more assertive international action to stop the carnage that was unfolding in Bosnia.
All my political life until that point, I had been amongst those opposing involvement in military action abroad. Now I found myself supporting intervention. For three years before the Srebrenica genocide, people in Sarajevo had been starved of food, medicines and even the means to defend themselves as their city was remorselessly pounded from the hills that surround it. We knew it. We could see it on TV.
These were normal people who had been whipped up to dehumanise those who they were told were “different”. They were told that their way of life was under threat. We cannot allow people to create and a similar “us and them” situation in Birmingham or anywhere else in the UK with regards to race, religion, sexuality, ability or where you were born.
We need to live together well and not allow our communities to be divided by hatred.